Ph.D. Program in Classical Languages and Literatures
Graduate Advisor: Shadi Bartsch, Classics 26, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chair of Graduate Admissions: Clifford Ando, Classics 23, email@example.com
Department Administrator: Kathy Fox, Classics 22B, 773-702-8514
Please see also the Degree Requirements for the Ph.D. in Classical Languages and Literatures.
The success of any graduate program depends upon the quality and commitment of its students and faculty. The Classics Department of the University of Chicago consists of persons of diverse backgrounds and interests, active scholars who are expert in one or more areas of classical studies. Beyond the influence which members of the faculty have had individually through books and articles, the Department has also long been identified with the publication of Classical Philology, one of the world's leading journals devoted to classical antiquity.
The diversity of faculty interests is matched by the diversity among the students in the graduate programs at the University of Chicago. Students in the Department of Classics represent only one of several groups engaged in the study of the ancient world. The Oriental Institute and Divinity School, the Committees on Medieval Studies, and Social Thought, and the Departments of Art, History, and Philosophy all have programs which focus on different aspects of the classical period, and which attract students with correspondingly varied interests. Course requirements for the graduate program in Classics are sufficiently flexible that students can take advantage of the numerous opportunities offered by these other programs.
Consequently, Classics students are able to encounter a multiplicity of approaches to classical texts and modern scholarship. In addition to learning basic techniques of textual, historical, and literary criticism, they are encouraged to explore new approaches to classical literature, history, philosophy, religion, art, and archaeology. They may test their explorations by participating in interdisciplinary workshops where both students and faculty present and discuss current research. The Classics Department sponsors three workshops, the Ancient Societies Workshop, the Rhetoric and Poetics Workshop, and the Ancient Philosophy Workshop, all of which meet biweekly, and is affiliated with the Late Antique and Byzantium Workshop and the Medieval Studies Workshop. Computer facilities permit students to conduct precise analyses of texts and to communicate with scholars worldwide who share their interests. Students interested in ancient theater can acquire first-hand experience in producing and acting in classical plays as part of the University Theater Program. Archaeological field experience is available for those who are interested in the material basis of classical antiquity.
The Department of Classics no longer accepts students who wish to study for a terminal Master of Arts. The requirements for the degree of Master of Arts are satisfied as part of the curricular requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree.
The Ph.D. program prepares students for careers in teaching and research. Students normally take a year or two of course-work after the Master's degree to expand their knowledge of Classics and to explore areas of research, and then devote one or more years to the writing of a dissertation. The Ph.D. program is designed so that students may satisfy all requirements within three or four years after receiving the Master's Degree. A complete description of the requirements for the Doctoral program can be found in the Degree Requirements section.
For most students, the course work for the Ph.D. program will consist of two year-long surveys of Greek and Latin literature, research seminars, and extra-departmental courses that address their special interests. At this stage students are encouraged to direct course work toward the development of possible dissertation topics. Departmental seminars offer an opportunity to explore particular texts or problems in depth. Workshops provide a forum in which students may try out their own research ideas and become acquainted with research strategies of faculty and other graduate students, both inside and outside the Classics Department.
After completing required course work, students choose a special field which they study in depth and on which they are examined in writing. There are also translation examinations in both Greek and Latin prose. When these examinations have been completed, students prepare a written dissertation proposal with the guidance of a three-person faculty advisory committee and present the proposal to the Department. After the proposal is approved, students write the dissertation with the advice of their committee and present the completed dissertaton to the Department. In choosing their courses, the students are guided by a faculty member who serves as Graduate Advisor.
The University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago cooperate in a program, sponsored by the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), that permits students of ancient philosophy or ancient history at any of the three universities to register in courses at the other universities. For further details, please consult the Graduate Advisor.
The library system of the University of Chicago, one of the largest university collections in North America, contains well over 5,000,000 volumes. Classics students may on occasion want to consult holdings in the Oriental Institute, the D'Angelo Law Library, or the John Crerar Library of technology and science, but most books and periodicals dealing with the ancient world are concentrated in the Joseph Regenstein Library. Classics has been one of the strongest parts of this collection since its first formation in 1891, when the University purchased the entire stock of a collection in Berlin that specialized in classical philology, archaeology, and science. In addition to current monographs, the Library receives more than 700 serials devoted to ancient Greece and Rome. Major editions of classical texts printed from the Renaissance through the 18th century are found in the Department of Special Collections, which also houses collections of Greek and Latin manuscripts and a large reference library devoted to paleography, manuscript catalogs, and facsimiles.
Books not in the University system can generally be obtained quickly through interlibrary loan from the collections at the Center for Research Libraries and the University of Illinois at Urbana. The database of the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae is accessible over the campus network; the Latin texts prepared by the Packard Humanities Institute, the CETEDOC database of ancient and medieval Christian Latin texts, and several other electronic databases useful to the study of the Classics are mounted on workstations in the Classics Reading Room of the Regenstein Library; and additional computing resources are available in the departmental computer cluster in the Classics Building.
The University of Chicago offers generous fellowship support to applicants admitted to our doctoral program. Please refer to the Grants and Fellowships page for Prospective Students on the divisional web site for more information on financial aid.
Undergraduates make up roughly thirty-five percent of the student population at the University of Chicago, and that fact has had a marked impact on the kinds of teaching which graduate students are recruited to do. Classes are small, the situations in which graduate students can take an instructional role are very varied, and teaching need not be a constant sideline to the detriment of their own studies. Moreover, the departments and the University have invested considerable effort in training graduate students to teach effectively:
- The Chicago Teaching Program conducts a series of weekend workshops and forums designed to build skills in lecturing, leading discussions, and focusing writing assignments.
- The Little Red Schoolhouse is a nationally famous writing program in which graduate students are taught how to deal methodically with the confused prose they will encounter in undergraduate papers, and are then assigned as interns in the Humanities and Social Sciences Core courses of the College. Here they work in a small class with the professor, serving as special writing instructors and learning how to teach courses in which reading, discussion, and short papers are the chief ingredients.
- Assistantships and Lectureships. Students who have completed M.A. requirements in the Classics Department first work alongside regular faculty as course assistants in beginning Greek and Latin courses and in the ancient history and civilization sequences. As they gain experience and advance to Ph.D. candidacy, they have the opportunity to teach independently in first- and second-year courses on prose texts. Graduate students also have a broad role in the intensive Summer Greek and Latin Program, and in the Continuing Studies program, for which they are encouraged to offer courses of their own design.
- Athens Assistantship. Every spring quarter, a graduate student is appointed as Assistant for the College's ten-week Study Abroad program in Athens ("Greek Antiquity and its Legacy"), which is regularly staffed by faculty from the Classics Department. The appointee serves as both a course assistant and a resident assistant and as an instructor for a course entitled "Readings in Attic Greek."
At the most advanced level, graduate students are eligible to teach sections of the Humanities core sequence and the Western Civilization sequence. All teaching is recompensed; except for students receiving the largest fellowships, the compensation normally combines a stipend and a substantial tuition remission.
The Graduate Social Committee organizes regular graduate student breakfasts, annual parties, and occasional barbecues. For issues of life on campus like housing, health care, and financial aid, please see the following links: http://gradadmissions.uchicago.edu/ and http://www.uchicago.edu/students/.
In response to the need for improving communication to graduate and professional students, the Office of the Vice-President and Dean of Students and the Graduate Services Team developed a website that serves the graduate and professional student community.
Please view the Graduate and Professional Student Gateway at: http://grad.uchicago.edu/.
Applicants to the Department of Classical Languages and Literatures should have a strong background in Greek and Latin and an inquiring mind. Students with undergraduate degrees in other fields are encouraged to apply; they should explain their plan for achieving language readiness in Greek and Latin. All graduate students are also expected to demonstrate proficiency at reading French and German by, roughly, the end of their third year.
Please apply online.
You may have questions about admission or the application process. Please feel free to contact the Dean of Students at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Chair of the Classics Department Graduate Recruitment Committee, Clifford Ando (email@example.com).
In keeping with its long-standing traditions and policies in admissions, employment, and access to programs, the University of Chicago considers students and employees on the basis of individual merit and without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or other factors irrelevant to study or work at the University. The Affirmative Action Officer is the University official responsible for coordinating its adherence to this policy and the related Federal and State laws and regulations (including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.)